Embattled National Party MP Maurice Williamson is denying
allegations of cronyism after his involvement in a criminal
case against a wealthy Chinese businessman.
Mr Williamson last week resigned his ministerial portfolios
amid revelations he interfered in a police case against
Donghua Liu for domestic violence.
He was also instrumental in Liu's purchase of a neighbouring
beachfront property in Pauanui after he checked with the
owner if the property was still for sale and passed on her
details to Liu.
After Liu was granted citizenship, following lobbying from Mr
Williamson and John Banks who was Auckland mayor at the time,
the businessman made a $22,000 donation to the National
Today Mr Williamson told TVNZ's Q+A show he did not only help
out wealthy party donors.
"I've had people come to my constituency office that are as
poor as a church mouse.
"In a couple of cases I've had to find some money for them to
pay for food that day because they couldn't feed their
He said he made a mistake, he got it wrong and he should not
have contacted police.
He was neither impressed nor not impressed with the personal
wealth of anyone.
The rules that donations to political parties should be
declared was transparent and was a good policy, Mr Williamson
"There's another dilemma with regards to political funding -
the public don't like the idea of state funding, that is tax
payers funding political parties, they think they should
raise their own.
"Then political parties go out to raise their own and people
think it's cronyism and I don't quite know how you resolve
He said he would accept the allegation of cronyism if the
only people he helped were rich.
"You have to help everybody."